Reds

Produced, directed, and cowritten by Warren Beatty, who also stars as radical journalist John Reed, REDS is a sprawling yet highly personal epic. Focusing on Reed's tempestuous relationship with feminist Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton), the $45-million production also encompasses a capsule history of the American Left in the early 20th century and depicts...read more

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  • Reds Friday Sep 28th, 4:58am

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Produced, directed, and cowritten by Warren Beatty, who also stars as radical journalist John Reed, REDS is a sprawling yet highly personal epic. Focusing on Reed's tempestuous relationship with feminist Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton), the $45-million production also encompasses a capsule

history of the American Left in the early 20th century and depicts the Russian Revolution, which Reed chronicled in Ten Days That Shook the World. Punctuated by the reminiscences of a number of Reed's real-life contemporaries (shot in stark black and white and unidentified, although they include

Rebecca West, Henry Miller, and Hamilton Fish) the three-hour-plus marathon shifts the action among a variety of American locales and from the States to the Soviet Union. Among the larger-than-life figures given the personal treatment are Louise's one-time lover Eugene O'Neill (Jack Nicholson),

Emma Goldman (magnificently portrayed by Maureen Stapleton, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work), Communist party chief Grigory Zinoviev (novelist Jerzy Kosinski), and Max Eastman (Edward Herrmann). Beatty, has created a film of DOCTOR ZHIVAGO-like scope and majesty, yet REDS

succeeds best in its smallest moments, focusing on the interaction among its carefully drawn characters. Keaton fails to bring the necessary depth to her portrayal and relies too much on her familiar, quirky film persona; but Beatty gives a highly nuanced, appropriately energized performance, and

the supporting players are uniformly excellent. The film's chief attribute, however, is also one of its major flaws. In presenting an up-close, personal look at the lives of its famous figures--particularly Reed and Bryant in their love affair and marriage--the film sometimes gives short shrift to

the world-shaking events that are its unique subject. Nonetheless, the brilliantly designed and photographed REDS is a beautiful, passionate film, both in its stunningly recreated action scenes and its quietest moments.

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  • Released: 1981
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: Produced, directed, and cowritten by Warren Beatty, who also stars as radical journalist John Reed, REDS is a sprawling yet highly personal epic. Focusing on Reed's tempestuous relationship with feminist Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton), the $45-million produc… (more)

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